As lascivious, corporate greed and the fall of the American economy both continue unabated, the bowties in their towers built upon strata formed by ink, hot type and pulp look down upon their megacorpconglomeranational empires and, merely, wait. They abide. For they know, no matter what happens to the newspaper industry today, tomorrow, or by 2017, the year when the last major American newspapers are predicted to have died, that there is absolutely nothing they can do. At all.
They also know their executive bonuses and perks are safe, no matter what happens.
They’ll never admit this. Ever. Right now, even though newspapers are closing and layoffs are massive, print newspapers bring in more revenue than their online counterparts. And it’s predicted — accurately, I believe — that their online counterparts will NEVER bring in an equal amount of revenue.
The bowties will never admit any of this because it will devalue their stock even more than their stock is devalued now.
It is, after all, not about news, not about journalism, not about loyal employees, and not about what the community needs.
It’s all about money.
The question remains: How can they stay in business?
The bowties already know the answer to this one. Hell, it’s as simple as an answer can get:
Warren Buffett summed it up for them.
“Should you find yourself in a chronically leaking boat, energy devoted to changing vessels is likely to be more productive than energy devoted to patching leaks.”
I’ve written about Jeff Jarvis before, and I think he’s usually on point about his predictions and trendspotting for the newspaper business. He’s written a piece you should read
, that gets to the heart of the issue: deliberately shutting the newspapers, firing thousands, and moving on . . . but to what?
“To take advantage of bankruptcy, a company has to have courage and bold visions of the future. Do newspaper companies? So far, we haven’t seen evidence of it.”
His facts jibe with Papercuts
, a site that’s keeping track of the layoffs at newspapers across the country.
The bowties better get used to wearing sweat-stained t-shirts and dealing crystal meth out of their doublewides.